The habits of an organisation’s individuals can seriously influence its norms and values. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Lead by example”, because as a sales leader, you can influence the sales culture either consciously or unconsciously.
Many of you reading this, in one way or another, are in sales. You may be directly influencing others as leaders or you may be a future leader. This article is designed to help you reflect on what habits you need to keep and which ones you need to change or develop for your team and organisation to succeed.
Consider the following:
- Centralised or decentralised decisions? Does the top management make all the decisions, or is decision-making allowed to take place across the organisation? What does democracy mean to you? What does it mean in the organisation?
- Teams or individuals? Collaboration or competition? Which is the driving force in your workplace? Do you sell as a team, or do you rely on a number of solo players? Does your reward system foster a team spirit or a culture of strong individuals? What is a desired habit? What is it that we promote at work in our ‘stories’ over a cup of coffee about deals won and success in sales? Which successes do you celebrate and how? Questions like these will help others understand expectations or, as we refer to it, a ‘track to run on’. People generally want to be appreciated and will aspire (if motivated towards things) to hit the target of whatever is celebrated.
- Stability or innovation, where is your focus? Do people at your workplace feel they can improvise? New initiatives appeal to some and put others off. How do you deal with that?
- Authority and accountability: A leader’s action (or absence of action) always leads to consequences, and your team (if you are in charge of one) will work for better or worse, both with and without your direct supervision. Do your team members have the right to make their own decisions? Do you delegate enough? Sales does not have to be such a lonely place.
How does this help me?
Reflecting on your answers can help you to manage yourself and your team. It can also help you decide how to approach both long-term strategic and short-term tactical decision-making. It can assist you in discovering a need to build, influence or change the culture around you, to change loyalty and retention amongst staff and reflect on how you want to be perceived as a leader. Perhaps you would like to be more of a role model?
What will your next move be?
Stuart Lotherington, Senior Partner
If you’d like to know more about influencing your business culture to drive a more effective sales environment, why not get in touch on +44 (0) 20 7653 3740 or [email protected]